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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 1951 (UK)
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An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

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(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Billy Gray ...
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Lock Martin ...
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Storyline

An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen has never conceived a creature like this! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

1951 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell to the Master  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the reasons that Michael Rennie was cast as Klaatu was because he was generally unknown to American audiences, and would be more readily accepted as an "alien" than a more recognizable actor. Studio head Darryl F. Zanuck had shown the script to Spencer Tracy, who was eager to play the role. Producer Julian Blaustein objected, saying that the audience would have numerous expectations about the character upon seeing an actor of such repute emerging from the flying saucer. Blausteinknew that Zanuck had the ultimate control, and if he insisted, Blaustein would either have to resign, or make the movie in an unsatisfactory way. Fortunately, Zanuck agreed, and Rennie was cast instead. See more »

Goofs

In the shot of London during the power outage, there are moving shadows near the lower-right corner of the screen, but nothing moving is casting the shadows. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
American Radar Operator: Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Elmer Davis, H.V. Kaltenborn, and Drew Pearson identify themselves when they appear on screen. Radio personality Gabriel Heatter is identified by an announcer. See more »

Connections

Referenced in SeaChange: Other People's Opinions (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best sci-fi movies ever!
12 November 2008 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

I remember several years ago in my film appreciation class, we were learning about the 50's, our professor had mentioned how many sci-fi films were made with Russian villain undertones as well as the cold war. We watched some of The Day the Earth Stood Still and this film just jumped at me, it was so different than any other film I had seen. I thought it was going to be so cheesy and lame since it was a 50's film, but after watching a little bit of it, I didn't realize the strong message it held. I remember in Terminator 2 there was a line that I still hold true to this day "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves", that maybe it's not all technology that will destroy us, but we are our own worst enemies. The Day the Earth Stood was before The Terminator, just like Metropolis was before this film, but these are the best stories and it's like watching a history lesson on film about the time and feel of the 50's.

An alien spaceship has landed in Washington, D.C., but it's not what you think with the "take us to your leader" type of thing, rather a human like alien comes out offering input on what is going on in the universe, but he is immediately attacked by the humans and taken hostage. His name is Klaatu, he tries to explain several times that he's not here to hurt anyone, but the humans don't trust him. He escapes and goes to a family, since no one knows what he looks like, they think that he's a regular man who just needs a place to stay. He stays with a family and they show him around, they think he's a little strange but very polite and nice, but when they learn of his true identity, he tells them of what his intentions are to mearly warn Planet Earth of it's impending doom.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a true classic, I know there are a lot of young people who complain about the ending, how it's so anti-climatic, but I feel that it's a perfect film and I am so ticked off that it's being re-made. But I guess we will have to see what the film will be like, who knows? It might be good... yeah, right, sorry, was just trying to be nice. But I highly recommend you watch this movie, it's a true classic that has a strong message, has great actors, and fun effects. It's fun to watch these films, I wonder if they realized while making this film back in 1951 that they were acting out their own culture and history.

10/10


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